htop without Color

Being one of the lucky 8% of males with color vision that differs from the norm, user interface colours are often less than suitable to my liking, even often feeling like a bad case of the “we can so we should” line of thought.

The unix “htop” utility was the source of my frustration today. htop is fantastic for viewing the basics of what a server is doing, but in an effort to provide as much detail as possible uses color in CPU graphs (low-priority, normal, kernel and virtualiz) and the Memory graph (used, buffers and cache. The combination of terminal color mapping, monitor color behavior and my eyes rendered the graphs almost illegable.

Then I found the “no-color” option and all became clear (“h” for help shows the character mapping used in the graphs).

% htop -C

Exploring the Performance of a Low-End Server

I recently rebuilt the server for dalescott.net after a drive failure. When complete, it seemed ERPNext wasn’t as snappy as before.

My final conclusion was, at the time, the server was likely being subjected to a penetration attack. The server commonly has spikes of 1K+ penetration attempts in a 24hr period, which tend to occur sporatically in clusters. However reivewing server performance was still a useful exercise.

dalescott.net SaaS Architecture

The host server is a Intel Core2 CPU 6600 2.40GHz with 6GB of RAM. The VirtualBox vm running ERPNext is a single-core with 2GB RAM (essentially taking one core and 2GB from the host).

Load At Rest

Below is the virtual machine and host server when at rest (no logged-in ERPNext users, and no on-going brute-force ssh or web app login attempts). The vm load (top) is 3% and the host (bottom) server cores are 5% and 2% (the 2% core is the erpnext server).

Load When Stressed

Below is the server when an ERPNext user logs in and accesses an Item list. The vm load (top) has maxed out at 100% and is using half its available memory. On the host (bottom), core #2 is almost 70% (erpnext), but core #1 is only 35% and only half the total available memory is being used, which is good.

Conclusion

Clearly ERPNext is processor-constrained in this situation, but at least under normal server load is still very suitable for either presentations or training with a limited number of concurrent users. 

Last Night’s Credential Stuffing

Out of curiosity I created a list of login IDs used in last night’s credential stuffing activity. They clearly reflect attempts to hack a server compared to consumer accounts, and it’s interesting besides “1234”, the single character “m” appears, as well as a single space character (” “).  Interesting…..

1234
aaron
account
adam
adm
admin
administrateur
administrator
apache
asteriskftp
auction
backup
boss
centos
cisco
connect
console
contact
cop
demo
D-Link
ems
fax
ftp
ftpuser
guest
helpdesk
info
installer
jenkins
kelly
kobayashi
lock
logout
lpa
lpd
luanvandiemcao
luckup
lucky
m
mailman
mailtest
manager
marketing
monitor
msf_user
nagios
network
new
office
openfiler
oracle
password
pi
PlcmSpIp
post
postfix
postgres
remote
report
sales
scan
scanner
sconsole
software
spam
squid
sue
support
svn
sync
synopass
system
tamaichi
test
test01
testuser
tomcat
ubnt
ubuntu
uftp
unknown
unlock
uploader
url
user
uucp
vagrant
vmail
vpn
webmaster
wordpress
www-data

ERP, IIoT and MQTT

MQTT represents a paradigm shift in industrial process control communication, is the primary communication protocol for IoT, and is anticipated to be the standard communication protocol for networked industrial process control devices – the IIoT.

A strategic opportunity may exist for an early market technology leader with a proven low-cost operations stack consisting of IIoT MQTT endpoints (with optional “intelligence at the edge”) providing data which directly result in the creation of orders or material movements in an ERP system, at a cost acceptable to SMEs. MQTT is still new technology for process control, and significant interest may also come from large enterprise investigative projects as they learn and find new strategies.

End-user MQTT References:

Video and podcast interviews with Arlen Nipper, co-creator of MQTT.